Six Months in San Francisco and the Gettysburg Address

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Re-processed digitized image scanned from an oil painting by Eastman Johnson, A Ride for Liberty, The Fugitive Slaves
A Ride for Liberty – The Fugitive Slaves

American Democracy is a living political system, it evolves.

In 1776 ‘all men are created equal’ meant all wealthy white men who
owned land; by 1863, it meant most white men regardless of class and
a war with the South to abolish slavery.

American Democracy continues to struggle and evolve.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”

Below is a slideshow made of photos taken at four of the major national and international marches against fascism in the past six months.

International Woman's March in London
International Woman’s March in London

The photos were taken at the International Woman’s March, the San Francisco March for Science, and the San Francisco National Tax March.

I included San Francisco’s Pride Day because it was really a huge anti-
fascist rally.

I’ve set the photos to a reading of Lincoln’s Address at Gettysburg, found at the Internet Archives.

The reading is by Britton Rea.

We are the future those honored dead fought to preserve.



The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 

Photo from San Francisco's Pride day 2017
Pride


Images of from the International Woman’s March by alans1948,  Mobilus In Mobili, and FollowYourNose, free to use with attribution.

All other images (c) Rob Goldstein 2017

 

 

 

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36 thoughts on “Six Months in San Francisco and the Gettysburg Address

    1. This has been a long time coming. The United States wrongfully invaded a sovereign nation and caused the deaths of untold numbers of innocent people. For over forty years, we’ve let the mentally ill die on our streets. The U.S. can’t do these things and call itself champions for human rights.

      It made us vulnerable to Putin’s nihilist stance that all governments are as corrupt as his is.

      That said, others and I are free to petition our government to correct these abuses and we will succeed under the rule of law.

      I don’t seek to protect an unregulated free market measures that rewards the most ruthless and corrupt. I seek to preserve the Constitutional rule of law that guarantees me the right to advocate for justice.

      Thanks for the visit and the comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I repeat, this is why there is always hope for the USA.
        From a European and an historical perspective, the USA has done nothing that most European states or collections of states have not been party to at some time or times in their history.
        This would seem to be something of a curse in human societies. However in the case of the USA you do have in place a Separation of Powers which, whereas, might not be working perfectly at least gives a theoretical base for even the most humble of citizens to challenge the might of a government.
        After living my entire 66 years in the UK and spending at least 50+ in a hard-left political mindset, there’s much in the USA which I’d have trouble living with, but your constitution and your cultural determination to question Why? to any government is laudable.
        I wish the ordinary citizens of the USA all the best
        Roger.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Rob,

    Thank you for this insightful post. We have been a democracy in progress where some are made uncomfortable . But we can’t go backwards which is what DDT really means with the slogan, “Make America Great Again.” And this is what the majority of Americans are resisting.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:

    Blogger-friend Rob Goldstein, a talented and multi-faceted man, has given me permission to share this excellent piece about the evolution of our democracy. He has tied his words and pictures in a short video clip highlighting scenes from recent marches for our freedom. Please take just a few minutes to peruse this remarkable post … you will come away feeling a bit more hopeful … I did. Thank you, Rob, for this post and for permission to share!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, and a good reminder that our nation is young yet and that what we are facing today is just one of many challenges we will yet face. We are up to the challenges! Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I always enjoy visiting your blog, but just don’t get to as often as I would like. Being a history buff, I would love to see a category dedicated to US History!

        Thanks for permission to share this post, and I will do so tomorrow … well, actually today, but after a few hours sleep. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are most welcome … you have so much variety in your topics that there is always something to love. I know what you mean about a mission … I sometimes think that my blog is my mission, the thing that I am meant to be doing at this point in my life. I know most think it sounds silly, but when you said you feel like you are on a mission, I could fully relate!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It does feel a bit embarrassing. But, I honestly believe that defending the principles of our democracy at this moment in our history is a mission that each of us must accept to the best of his or her ability. No one is more critical of our nation’s flaws than I am, but that freedom to push to make us the United States a ‘more perfect’ union is the soul of our political system.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Exactly! I am always a bit deflated when somebody tells me that I am not changing anybody’s mind, and that my words do not reach enough people, or the right people. But then, almost invariably somebody else will leave a comment and tell me they appreciate me keeping them informed, or a simple “keep up the good work”, and I climb back in the saddle. I cannot just be still and silent when I see so much wrong, so much injustice, and a ‘man’ at the helm who seems hellbent and determined to destroy our democratic freedoms, destroy our very lives. So, we shall both keep using our voices as best we can and hope that eventually those who are wearing blinders will wake up, yes?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It’s not about changing minds, it’s about reaching people who feel silenced. Donald Trump is a perp, he’s an abuser, he is sadistic and enjoys using power to hurt people. Thew Untied States is under the thumb of a sick narcissist and his extended family of abusive sycophants.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I agree, but as long as there are those who still support him, who see him as some sort of a saviour, who overlook everything he does and then cheer like madmen at his rallies, it will be difficult to get him out. He IS sadistic and an uber-narcissist, and that is why the republicans in both chambers of Congress allow themselves to be bullied … I believe they are genuinely afraid. They are the ones that must wake up soon, but I think they will do so only once their constituents have awakened and demand action. And I see that happening on a small scale, but not to the extent it needs to. And I still remain puzzled by those who support him. He has no loyalty to them, he is never going to act in their best interests. I just don’t understand it at all.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. The question of those who support him is where Russia’s meddling is at its worst. Russian psychological warfare exploits existing stresses in the social fabric and exacerbates it. In the U.S. we have divisions that predate the Declaration of Independence. After the revolution two competing forms of democracy emerged in the North and South and they eventually went to war with each other. The North ‘won’ the American Civil War but the people of the South never really re-joined the Union. The Southern States have always used political maneuvers and appeals to white working class resentments to keep their cheap labor.

        Putin figured out how to use social media and artificial intelligence to lock people into virtual boxes where they listened only to fox news and heard only what Putin wanted them to hear. I lost lifelong friends and family to Putin’s abuse of social media. I was shocked to discover that friends of mine who were social activists for most of their lives were suddenly anti-Liberal, convinced Obama was a kind of anti-Christ, and Hillary was the incarnation of corruption.

        Putin primarily appealed to those people in the South who come from generations of Southerners who never accepted the defeat of the Confederate cause.

        Putin really stoked those flames.

        The year is 2017 and consider that this dog whistle is being blown in today’s New York Times:

        WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

        New York Times

        Here’s what makes this especially sad: most of Trump’s 36% are too poor and under-educated to worry about this kind of discrimination, but they don’t know that. If Trump really wanted to help them, he’d create policies that fund public education and job training. The kind of policies Hillary had.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. You make many good points. The north/south division explains much about why the alt-right has so many followers right now, and also, I suppose, why Trump’s horrible rhetoric and actions are tolerated by the so-called ‘Evangelical Christians’ who do not act at all in a Christianly manner.

        I, too, have lost life-long friends over the course of the last year. People who I thought were humanitarians, good people, but who suddenly showed a side that I never in a million years suspected.

        I had not seen the New York Times article, for I have been writing all evening and kept my news sites turned off, but on reading your comment, I went in search of and found it. Chilling. We are going backward at an alarming rate! The progress of the last 150 years hangs in the balance, and especially the last 60 years … the civil rights era. There are no excuses that can be made. I am just so ashamed of this nation right now. 😥

        We do what we can to make our voices heard, but the thing is … people have to be willing to listen, else we are speaking to a brick wall. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I think the problem is really one of human nature. We externalize evil or make evil men seem exceptional. We don’t bother to connect with the reality that without the willing support of millions of ordinary people Hitler’s gas chambers can never open for business. We will always have dark souls among us and they will always use the fear and irrational resentment to trick us into giving them credibility.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone born in the year 1969 was born into a nation that criminalized and pathologized homosexuality. Gay men who were outed lost their jobs and families; they were often driven to suicide. If you had a partner, you couldn’t live with him because two single men over the age of thirty drew suspicion; the military had an entire branch of law enforcement dedicated to rooting out ‘deviants’. People born in 1969 are only 48 Years old. In 2017, if they are gay they can legally marry their partners. We as individuals are free to join with others and make changes to our political system by using reason and the rule of law. That’s what we fight to preserve. This freedom is why the United States can never be as corrupt as Russia’s oligarchy.

      Liked by 2 people

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